It’s fair to say that England’s Euro 2016 clash with Wales is already reaching boiling point and there’s still more than 24 hours until kick-off.
The two rival nations clash in a hugely important Group B fixture and the mind games have already been ongoing for a few days now.
Gareth Bale appears to be in the centre of the war of words between the two countries after a series of controversial comments.
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Firstly, he said Chris Coleman’s side have “more pride and passion” than England, while claiming the English “big themselves up before they’ve done anything.”
But Bale wasn’t done there. Yesterday, when asked how many England players would get into the Wales team, Bale somewhat predictably replied “none.”
England boss Roy Hodgson has hit back at Bale’s remarks claiming that “receiving disrespectful comments is part and parcel” of football but insisted that the England camp is “a passionate dressing room.”
And Wayne Rooney also felt the need to respond to Bale and said: “That’s what he (Bale) feels,” he said.
“I’m sure all us English players will feel different but he’s obviously a proud Welshman, which he should be. It’s where he’s from. We’re from England and we’re very proud Englishmen.
Walk the walk
However, we all know that Bale can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
The Real Madrid superstar scored a free-kick in Wales’ opening fixture against Slovakia which helped them earn a 2-1 victory and there’s no doubt he is Wales’ biggest threat.
And now, as if his words weren’t enough to warn the players, he scored a tremendous goal in training ahead of Thursday’s fixture in Lille.
The ball was played into Bale from the touchline and, instead of attempting just a normal volley, the former Tottenham player produced an incredible acrobatic volley from 12-yards out.
The technique is ridiculous as Bale launches himself into the air before smashing the ball into the ground and past the goalkeeper.
Take a look at Bale’s impressive effort below:
The strike served as yet another reminder of Bale’s qualities.
After England’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Russia, the Three Lions are desperate for three points to secure passage into the knockout stages.
It will soon be time for Bale to stop talking with his mouth and start talking with his feet as he aims to put England on the brink of elimination and provide evidence to his outlandish remarks.
But the above video must pose as a warning to Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling - don’t allow Bale any space whatsoever in the penalty area because he’s capable of producing moments of magic.